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Menahga students benefit from SMART Board technology

Student teacher Mary Jo Brockpahler uses a SMART Board in her classroom to work on math problems. Students are able to interact and are more engaged through the use of this technology.

Menahga School teachers are using SMART boards to enhance their classrooms and improve learning.

The school will have 34 SMART boards in classrooms throughout the school when installation is complete. The SMART boards were purchased with a nearly $200,000 Enhancing Education Through Technology (E2T2) grant.

"Teachers can take anything off the computer and make it interactive for students," said superintendent Mary Klamm.

Teachers will also continue to receive training for the SMART boards each month from now through the fall. A half-time technology integrationist will be hired to conduct the training sessions. The grant is also covering this position.

Lonnie Schmidt, elementary music teacher, uses the SMART Board to engage students in singing and activity.

In another classroom students learn about the Roman Empire with a presentation that includes pictures.

Student teacher Mary Jo Brockpahler is able to use the SMART Board in her classroom to work on problems from the math series.

"There are just so many uses and it gets students to be more engaged," Klamm said.

She referenced a quote from Robert Marzano, an education researcher, about incorporating technology into education.

"I would have been a much better teacher if I had these technology tools in my middle school classroom," he said. "Good instruction can happen without it, but technology is a catalyst for good teaching practices such as individualizing instruction for all students, collaborative team work, engaging students with quality content and providing teachers with data to make informed decisions about improving their instruction."

Klamm said that quote really speaks to her and the SMART Board technology is a prime example of how technology can improve education.

In addition to the SMART boards, calculators and Netbook computers will be incorporated into classrooms next year, she said. This is also part of the E2T2 grant.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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